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2nd Essex District

Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, and Topsfield
Dear Constituent,

Good afternoon! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family and friends.

To keep you updated on the Senate's work this fall, I have highlighted several pieces of legislation that the Senate passed in November. This update also includes information about local events and initiatives, including an important announcement regarding the North Side Commuter Rail schedule. I hope you find this information to be helpful and as always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions.
                                                                      Thanks for reading,
                                                                      Joan B. Lovely

Connect with me on Facebook & Twitter!
Senate Formal Session Recap

The third Wednesday of November in the first annual session marks the last day of formal session in 2015. On that day, the Senate passed several pieces of legislation that affect veterans, substance abuse, and social media privacy. A brief summary of the specific bills are included below:

H.1641, The Stolen Valor Act criminalizes the practice of falsely representing oneself as military personnel, a veteran, or a recipient of specific military honors in order to receive money, property, or a tangible benefit;

H.3243, An Act Providing Free Park Access to Purple Heart Recipients waives entrance or parking fees at state parks, forests, and reservations for recipients of the Purple Heart;

H. 3798, An Act Relative to the Trafficking of Fentanyl penalizes anyone who traffics in fentanyl, a dangerously strong narcotic often mixed with heroin; and

S.2034, An Act Relative to Social Media Privacy Protection prohibits any public or private educational institution from requiring a student or applicant to disclose a username, password, or other means of access to a personal social media account or service. The bill includes similar prohibitions for employers trying to acquire this information from employees. I proudly co-sponsored the original draft of this bill sponsored by Senator Cynthia Creem.

The Senate will continue to meet in informal sessions until January.

Massachusetts Legislature Recognizes the Frates Family
On November 18, I had the pleasure of welcoming John, Nancy, and Andrew Frates to the State House. Representative Jerry Parisella and I presented the Frates Family with a joint resolution from the House and Senate for their tremendous efforts to raise awareness and find a cure for ALS. The Frates family helped launch the famous ice bucket challenge video campaign that raised more than $220 million for ALS research!
Opiate Awareness Walk in Salem
Last year in Massachusetts, opiate addiction took the lives of 1,256 residents. Since joining the Senate, I have heard far too many heartbreaking stories about how this epidemic has impacted families in all parts of the Commonwealth. During the past two sessions, the Legislature has taken important steps to pass comprehensive reforms and dedicate additional resources to this important issue, but there is certainly more important work to do. On November 22 I joined countless Salem residents to walk for opiate awareness and help take back our communities. Resolving the issue of opiate addiction will require a collective effort and it was encouraging to see so many North Shore residents committed to this critical issue.
Resolve Creating a Commission to Prevent Tenant Bullying

On November 5, the Senate passed legislation to create a commission to study ways to prevent bullying of tenants in public and subsidized multi-family housing. I partnered with a Peabody constituent to sponsor the resolve, which establishes a 19-member commission tasked with submitting policy recommendations to prevent instances of tenant bullying.

With a focus on elderly and disabled tenants, the commission will identify the conditions that cause bullying and research successful prevention methods. To reach its findings, the commission will consult with tenants who have been victimized by bullying, managers who coordinate resident services, and individuals who have direct experience with bullying prevention. To meet the needs of tenants in all areas, the commission will hold public meetings at various locations across the Commonwealth.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Re-homing of Children

This November, the Senate passed legislation to address the unregulated practice of exchanging an adopted child, also called “re-homing.” Re-homing occurs when an adoptive parent, who feels they can no longer care for the child, posts an advertisement on the internet to pass the child on to another without any oversight. Child safety is a top priority and the Senate reaffirmed that message by taking steps to end this unsafe practice. To address this issue, the bill creates an oversight process to ensure children are safely moved to families under government regulation and through legal avenues. Additionally, the bill requires post-adoption services to prevent the disruption of a child placement and includes penalties for parents who permanently place a child in a new home unlawfully.
Citation Presentation to the Peabody Police Department

Last month I visited the Peabody Police Department to present Senate citations to several police officers who went above and beyond the call of duty. To congratulate and thank the officers for their dedicated service to the community, I got a little help from McGruff the Crime Dog!
North Side Commuter Rail Schedule

Recently my office has heard from North Shore commuters about the newly proposed North Side Commuter Rail schedule changes. On November 24, MassDOT and the MBTA announced that the revised North Side Commuter Rail schedule will not be implemented until spring 2016. Later this month, the MBTA will release new draft schedules for both North Side and South Side services, receive feedback from the public, and then make any necessary changes before implementing a final schedule in the spring of 2016. Throughout this process, my office will remain engaged and monitor any changes that will impact North Shore commuter rail riders. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to my office and speak with me or my staff.
“Trouble in Toyland” Report Release at the
Salem Community Child Care Center

As we enter the gift-giving season, I joined the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MassPIRG) to raise awareness about potentially hazardous toys being sold in stores across the country. Since the majority of toys are bought and sold during this time of year, it’s important for consumers to take a moment to make sure a toy does not pose a potential health or safety risk. Each year there is good progress made in the area of toy safety, but it is always best to be an informed shopper and be aware of any dangerous toys. MassPIRG's  “Trouble in Toyland” report offers safety guidelines and information for people buying toys for children this holiday season.
Thank you!
I was truly honored to receive recognition from the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs, the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau this fall. All of these organizations have been excellent partners since I joined the Senate and I would like to thank them for their collaboration on a wide-range of important policy issues.

December District Hours

Beverly Council on Aging
December 4th, 9-10AM

Peabody Council on Aging
December 11th, 10:30-11:30AM

Salem Council on Aging
December 18th, 9-10AM

Danvers Council on Aging
December 18th, 10:30-11:30AM

Topsfield Town Library
December 18th, 12-1PM

Please call (617) 722-1410 to schedule an appointment with my office.
T: (617) 722-1410  
F: (617) 722-1347